Darius Johnson-Odom is a 6’ 2” sharp shooting, lefty guard out of Marquette University. Johnson-Odom is built well, weighing in at 212 pounds, and possessing a sizeable 6’ 6” wingspan. Despite the lefty’s underwhelming stature, he impressed at the NBA draft combine, recording a max vertical of 41.5” (the highest noted at the event). Darius also showed off his imposing strength benching 185 lbs 17 times, a very impressive feat, especially considering his size.
Darius Johnson-Odom has very solid prospects in the draft based on skill alone, however his height has raised some questions from prospective teams. Measuring in at 6’ 2” many fear that he will be unable to matchup with the bigger shooting guards in the league. He doesn’t possess the point-guard instincts to play the position in the NBA, and thus he is in position limbo. However, his skills speak for themselves, many believe that were he a couple of inches taller, he would be a lock to go early in the second round. However, regardless of his height, he was still second in the Big East in scoring.
Darius possess tremendous court speed, which he uses create for himself near the basket, as well as push the ball in transition. Johnson-Odom is a pure shooter, shooting an impressive 40.4% from three in his senior season. He has a very high basketball IQ, he can read the defense and make rotations accordingly on the perimeter. He feels most comfortable 20-25 feet away from the basket, where he can use his nasty step back jump shot. He has a beautiful stroke, which yields consistent results: he is a very efficient player who is cognizant of his abilities and limitations. Johnson-Odom has a good first step, plus ball handling, and the ability to find open teammates.
Johnson-Odom is a very solid defensive player, using his upper and lower body strength (showcased in the combine) to bang with larger guards. He has good instincts, often using his long arms to cut off passes and poke away balls. He is also by all indications a good locker room presence. In his senior campaign, Darius showed tremendous leadership qualities with Marquette, where he helped to create a winning culture (Marquette went 24-5 in the Big East).
Judging the fit:
I really like Darius Johnson-Odom; I think that he would prove to be a very effective role player on the Knicks. His defense would fill a void during Shump’s absence, and his shooting ability would be great off the bench. He would be able to help a relatively weak Knicks second team right away. The only real knock against the lefty is his height, but on the Knicks he won’t necessarily attack the rim against bigger defenders, he will instead be a sharp shooter, marauding the perimeter.
I think that Darius Johnson-Odom would be perfect for the Knicks. Every facet of his game is enticing to me, his ability to shoot, pass, run the floor, and body bigger defenders. Furthermore, he seems to be a good character guy to have in the locker room. I have a good feeling that if Johnson-Odom is around, the Knicks will certainly scoop him up. His case is helped by the fact that the Knicks’ shooting guard corps is so up in the air.